A Note to Dads: Speak Courageously
Can you say this: “(Your daughter’s name), those shorts are too short. I can’t let you go to school like that”?
A good friend of mine said those exact words to his 13 -year-old daughter as she was headed out the door. Her response? She got on the bus and went to school.
Not a fun moment. Actually a very difficult moment. But that dad was saying something that his daughter needed to hear. Something that had to be said.
To be clear, this was not a part-time father who showed up one morning to judge a young teen’s fashion choices. This dad had been pouring love, faith, integrity and wisdom into his daughter’s heart and mind for 13 years. He had talked with her about the value of modesty, inner beauty, sexual purity, and about boys and how they think. But he had not talked specifically about the length of blue jean shorts.
Then suddenly came the morning she headed out the door in shorts that were too short. And he risked it all. This was not a hypothetical moment far into the future. This was right now, a split second decision. This was one of those moments of truth that require great courage from a dedicated father.
My friend did not embarrass his daughter in front of her peers. He did not yell. He did not grab her and force her back into the house. He directly spoke truth into her life. And she got on the bus anyway.
Had he failed his daughter? Had he failed God? Can you relate?
That father and daughter did not speak that evening. After a couple days, their relationship returned to its previous state. Polite dinner table conversation, coordinating schedules, a clarification about homework, a laugh over a television show, and a return to the bedtime ritual of prayers and wishes and good night kisses.
The incident that morning was never mentioned. From the outside looking in, dad and daughter were once again on the same page.
One more thing. She never wore those shorts again. And a sticky note appeared on her full-length bedroom mirror. A note she had written herself. It said, “Does what you see honor God?”
A moment of courage by a dedicated father helps a young teen come to a new understanding of her true value in God’s eyes. Will you have that kind of courage dad? Have you earned the right to speak truth into the life of your daughter?
“Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety.” — 1 Timothy 2:8-9
Jay Payleitner is a radio producer, popular speaker and author of ten books including 52 Things Daughters Need from Their Dads and One-Minute Devotions for Dads. For more, go to jaypayleitner.com.